Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #173) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #173)
Transcript: The response was fairly good and some areas did exceptionally well, especially those that went beyond the negative action of merely pulling out the children and who organised their own independent schools. In Germiston location, Joshua Makue, chairman of our local branch there, ran a school of close to 800 children and, in spite of repeated persecution, it lasted for more than 3 years. Bernard Moliwa of Alexandra Township resigned a secure teaching job to take charge of two schools run on the cover of cultural clubs. The most spectacular results were in Port Elizabeth where Barret Tyesi also threw away a government teaching post and took over, with the assistance of 8 teachers, a principalship of a school for boycotting children with a very large enrolment. In 1956 he presented 70 children for the Standard VI exams, all of whom, save 3 passed. He and his staff also resisted persecution by the police until 1957 when the numbers dwindled away and poverty and hunger inevitably drove the teachers to paying jobs.
The campaign showed once again, that Africans were ready to follow an imaginative leadership with constructive plans. It is not easy to give statistics under the conditions in which I write this story, but a well known writer points out that on April 1 1955 the boycott in the East Rand affected some 5,000 school children and that on April 25th when the ANC Working Committee called for an intensified boycott, 7,000 children stayed away. The learned writer adds that Verwoerd issued an ultimatum that children who were absent on April 25th would not be re admitted to schools and that the 7,000 children were at once removed from the register with some 116 teachers becoming redundant.
Extent and Medium: 1 page